President Donald Trump woke up early Wednesday morning to defend his decision to suddenly fire FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday afternoon. He also vowed to chose a replacement who “will do a far better job” and will bring back the “spirit and prestige” of the FBI.
Although plenty of Republicans in Congress expressed confusion and disappointment over the firing, Trump was obsessed with the overwhelmingly negative response from Democrats. “The Democrats have said some of the worst things about James Comey, including the fact that he should be fired, but now they play so sad,” Trump tweeted.
In fact, the first public statement Trump made after firing Comey was a tweet with a quote from House Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. “Cryin’ Chuck Schumer stated recently, “I do not have confidence in him (James Comey) any longer.” Then acts so indignant,” Trump wrote, adding “#Draintheswamp.” This was in reference to a November 2016 letter, in which Schumer wrote that he didn’t “have confidence” in Comey any longer.
Trump’s obsession with the Democrat response to this instead of the Republican response could stem from his administration’s surprise that they were not happy with the decision to fire Comey. A source told Politico that the White House was under the impression that firing Comey would be a “win-win” because both Democrats and GOP members have criticized Comey in the past.
Politico also reports that Trump called several Senators, hoping to get their support. Schumer told him he was making a mistake, which surprised Trump, the site’s sources say.
Trump also tweeted that his replacement for Comey, who only needs to be approved by the Senate, will be “someone who will do a far better job, bringing back the spirit and prestige of the FBI.” It’s not clear who Trump has in mind to replace Comey at this time, as Trump’s team didn’t have one ready to nominate when Comey was fired.
A White House official told the New York Times that Trump wants to fill the vacancy quickly and he’s likely to nominate someone by the end of the week.
Trump then retweeted a Drudge Report tweet with a link to Grabien News‘ “10 Major Scandals on Comey’s Watch” list.
Just now, Trump tweeted that seeing Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal talk about Comey “is a joke,” once again bringing up Blumenthal’s lie about his Vietnam service. He eventually wrote that Blumenthal should be “investigated for his acts.”
Trump fired Comey on Tuesday night, claiming that his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation was the real cause for it. But many in Washington haven’t seen it that way, since Comey was also leading an investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia during the 2016 presidential election. It’s also not clear when those “three separate occasions” when Comey told Trump personally he wasn’t “under investigation” took place mentioned in Trump’s termination letter.
Trump also denied a CNN report that he spoke to Roger Stone about firing Comey.